Although his servants have long been doing his bidding, Flameheart’s return marked a new era in the Sea of Thieves. Aye, we remember well that fateful day on Flintlock Peninsula.
Since Flameheart’s return, we’ve felt his presence and power spread throughout the seas. We even watched in awe and horror as he used one particular servant to further his aims—Stitcher Jim.
While we’ve not yet seen any further developments regarding Flameheart’s plans for Sticher Jim, Flameheart has other schemes, and they are unfolding at this very moment!
Flameheart is summoning long lost vessels from the Sea of the Damned: Ghost Ships!
This latest move by Flameheart is no half measure either! He has even conjured a spectral replica of his infamous ship The Burning Blade to lead this armada in terrorizing and dominating the Sea of Thieves.
If you hope to survive this formidable foe, you’ll need to steel your nerve! This guide will ready you for battle against these Ghost Ship fleets. After all, if Flameheart wants a fight, we’re prepared to give him one.
What are Ghost Ships?
Ghost Ships are a brand new type of enemy sailing the seas. They are quite different from the Skeleton Ships we’ve fought thus far.
Rather than your traditional cannonballs, cursed balls, or firebombs—Ghost Ships fire new cannonballs containing spirits. As well as new cannonballs, they will also leave behind explosive mines when being trailed!
Ghost Ships have no manned crew. This means you cannot kill its crew—including whomever is firing those blasted cannons!
You also cannot board the ship. If you try to climb their ladder, the Ghost Ships will sail right through you!
On that note, Ghost Ships cannot be damaged by ramming them with your ship. Similar to any attempts to board, you’ll sail right through them!
Arrgh, but should your ships collide, you can expect some damage to your own ship. So, mind the helm and steer clear of those ships!
Where are the Ghost Ships?
You’ll find Ghost Ships all throughout the Sea of Thieves. They can be summoned by Flameheart as a World Event or found haunting islands from Order of Souls Voyages.
Ghost Ships as a World Event
You will want to keep your eye out for the floating red visage of Captain Flameheart in the sky. His ghostly presence signals the arrival of his Damned fleet into the Sea of Thieves and the start of the World Event.
Flameheart will be hovering above a random island. Unlike the Skull Cloud announcing an active Skeleton Fort, Flameheart’s glow can appear over any island.
Sail toward his apparition to find which island his Ghost Fleet haunts. Then engage the fleet to start the event.
Ghost Ships as an Order of Souls Voyage
The Order of Souls is offering a new Voyage!!!
Rather than waiting for his specter to appear, the Order of Souls is taking the fight to Flameheart.
So, if you are looking for an on-demand Ghost Ship battle, head on over to the Order of Souls and purchase a Ghost Ship Fleet Bounty.
You can read more about what the Order of Souls Ghost Ship Voyage entails here.
How to prepare for the Ghost Ship World Event
This is one of the largest World Events yet! You will be fighting way more enemies at once than ever before.
While the Skeleton Ship World Event has at most three ships to battle at once, the Ghost Ship World Event will have you skirmishing up to eleven Ghost Ships at one time!
Before you head into battle, it is important to learn about this new enemy so you can strategize knowing everything that can be thrown your way.
For starters, you’ll also want to gather plenty of resources! Having a healthy supply of planks and cannonballs will be crucial to surviving this fight.
How to defeat Ghost Ships
Your cannons are your best—and only—weapon!
Anything you find in your ship’s cannonball storage barrel can be used against Ghost Ships. Aye, this means cannonballs, cursed balls, chainshot, firebombs, and blunderbombs!
However, these only work if you fire them out of a cannon. Don’t waste good firebombs throwing them by hand.
As we mentioned earlier, for those of you pirates who enjoy ramming into ships to cause damage, that tactic will not work here. Ghost Ships do not take collision damage.
And, no—before you even think about it—gunpowder barrels do not work on Ghost Ships.
Aye! These Ghost Ships come equipped with several new cannonballs containing spirits from the damned!
These inflict the damage of your normal cannonball but strike even more fear in pirate hearts! These Phantom Cannonballs take the form of a flying specter as they hurl towards your ship. They’re easy to spot but quite terrifying!
Flame Phantom Cannonballs
If you see a red flaming Phantom Cannonball heading your way, grab a bucket!
This is the Ghost Ship’s equivalent of a Firebomb. These cannonballs won’t put a whole in your ship but they will definitely cause some havoc as you try to douse the resulting flames.
Wraith Cannonballs are an entirely new breed of cannonball!
Wraith Cannonballs act as a shotgun blast when they hit your boat. Expect to have a large hole surround by smaller holes in your ship.
You will also be knocked back similar to if being hit by a Blunderbomb, bit by a Meg, or slapped by the Kraken!
Watch out for Phantom Mines!
Ghost Ships do not like it when you trail behind them. To deter this kind of behavior the Ghost Ships will drop off Phantom Mines behind them.
Be on the lookout for these ghostly barrels of doom floating in the water behind the Ghost Ships! They shouldn’t be too hard to spot in the water as they glow brightly and will be behind a fleet of ships.
Even if you don’t hit these barrels, they will eventually detonate. If you’d like these barrels to explode on your terms, you can shoot them from afar.
There are several types of Ghost Ships you need to be aware of. The first type is the Grunt. Grunts have no insignia on them and look the most battle-scarred.
Grunts take three cannonball hits to defeat.
The second type of Ghost Ship is the Formation Leader. These ships will look more put together and have Sea of the Damned or Ashen Dragon insignia on their sails.
Killing the Formation Leader will also dispatch of any Grunts still left in the formation surrounding the Leader.
Killing Formation Leaders will drop Damned loot from Chests to Crates as well as a Storage Crate of the Damned.
Formation Leaders take ten cannonball hits to defeat.
Storage Crates of the Damned
When you defeat one of the Grunt Ghost Ships there is a chance that it will drop a Storage Crate of the Damned. These Storage Crates will be filled with cannonballs and wood to help pirates stay in the fight without sinking!
Defeating a Formation Leader is guaranteed to provide a Storage Crate of the Damned.
Unlike normal Storage Crates, these can be sold to the Merchant Alliance! The best part is they don’t even need to have resources in them. So while you are selling those Ashes of the Damned, go ahead and sell these Storage Crates of the Damned with them for some extra Merchant Alliance reputation.
When defeated, Ghost Ships will explode and cause knockback to any nearby ships. This knockback doesn’t cause any damage but will most likey mess up any cannon shot you are about to take!
Sea of the Damned Portals
During the encounter, you will notice that Ghost Ships are able to slip in and out of the Sea of the Damned at will. This makes it more difficult to keep your distance from them as they will use their teleportation powers to get near to you while you head in the opposite direction.
Ghostly Loot Beacons
You’ll know that a ship you just defeated dropped some loot as there will be ghostly phantoms circling above it. This should be of great help as in the middle of this intense fight, it will be hard to keep track of floating loot.
Don’t worry though! These phantoms cannot damage your ship or pirate.
You’ll see the phantoms circling loot from the Storage Crate of the Damned to the rest of the Damned loot.
How to complete the Ghost Ship World Event
The Ghost Ship encounter is comprised of four waves of Ghost Ships. You will have to defeat each wave to complete the entire encounter.
The first wave will have you fighting against ten Grunt Ghost Ships at once! While that sounds overwhelming each Grunt Ghost Ship only needs to be hit with three cannonballs for it to disappear.
Each time a Grunt Ghost Ships is defeated in this encounter, another will spawn shortly after taking its place so you will not have much breathing room.
You will have to sink seven of the Grunt Ghost Ships to complete the wave.
Once seven of the ships have been dispatched, the remaining vessels will flee as Flameheart calls in the next wave comprising of a different threat.
Tips for First Wave
Circle around the outer perimeter of the ships. Since there are so many, heading right into the middle of the fight will lead to being easily overwhelmed. Look for Ghost Ships sailing alone and on the outer edge of the patrol. Picking them off one by one will help you progress through the wave and stay afloat!
Two formations of Ghost Ships will appear, each fronted by a Formation Leader!
Players can take out all of these Ghost Ships, but taking out the Formation Leader will result in the other ships in that formation fleeing.
The Formation Leader ship takes ten cannonballs to sink instead of three like the other Ghost Ships.
Once both Formation Leaders are defeated, you’ll progress to the next wave of battling individual Ghost Ships again.
Tips for Second Wave
If you can, go for the Formation Leader. This will speed up the wave as well as save you cannonballs for the next two waves.
The third wave is a repeat of the first. You will be fighting ten Grunt Ghost Ships at once. Defeating a further seven ships will cause the rest to flee again and the final wave will begin!
Tips for Third Wave
The same advice for the First Wave applies here. You’ll want to circle around the outer perimeter of the island looking to single out ships.
Flameheart is ready to end the fight and is bringing out his big guns! The spectral version of the Burning Blade now appears at the front of a formation of 5 ships.
This formation will be joined by an additional two formations, each with three ships.
Yep, you’ll be taking down three formations totaling eleven ships!
One of the formations of three is being led by none other than the Ashen Dragon! Flameheart is truly flexing his power by summoning both the Burning Blade and Ashen Dragon from the Sea of the Damned!
Killing any Formation Leader Ship will take down their associated Formation of Ghost Ships just as in the second wave.
Taking down The Burning Blade ends the entire World Event in victory! Without the Burning Blade, the rest of the Ghost Ships will flee frightened. The Burning Blade takes 20 cannonballs to sink though opposed to the 10 the other Formation Leaders require.
Tips for Fourth Wave
Ignore the two additional formations and go straight for the Burning Blade formation. Dispatching of the Burning Blade ends the entire encounter so it’s best to focus on this ship instead of wasting our precious cannonballs on ships that don’t matter.
Among the piles of floating loot you will find the Chest of the Damned, Skull of the Damned, Captain Skull of the Damned, Ashes of the Damned and the Cannonball Crate of the Damned!
You can sell the Chest to the Gold Hoarders, the Skulls to the Order of Souls and the Ashes and Crates to the Merchant Alliance.
Flameheart the Nitpick
One of the best parts of the Heart of Fire Tall Tale was Flameheart speaking to all who entered his catacombs.
The Burning Blade encounter has even more vicious words from the terrible Captain though this time they are context aware!
Flameheart will make a comment about every little thing you do. Take some damage? You can bet Flameheart will be there to rub it in.
Destroy one of his Ghost Ships? He’ll laugh it off and say it was merely a scratch.
If you join an alliance during the fight, phantom Flameheart will comment that not even an alliance will save you from this wrath.
Happen to be a Pirate Legend? You can be sure that Flameheart will make a joke at your expense.
Flameheart will be present the entire fight making sure you know his thoughts on the battle as it progresses.
Ghost Ship Rewards
How to unlock the Burning Blade Sails?
To get the Burning Blade Sails you must complete the Banisher of The Spectral Flame commendation. Completing this commendation will require you to defeat the Burning Blade 10 times.
How to unlock the Ghost Captain Sails?
To get the Ghost Captain Sails you must complete the Hunter of Damned Captains commendation which will require you selling 50 Captain Skulls of the Damned.